RCIA workshop to provide help to parish teams

by KIMBERLEE SABSHIN
Tue, Oct 6th 2015 11:00 am
Staff Reporter
The Elect, James Bauer (left) and his sponsor, Bonnie Schiffmaker, sign the Book of the Elect at the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo. (File Photo)
The Elect, James Bauer (left) and his sponsor, Bonnie Schiffmaker, sign the Book of the Elect at the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo. (File Photo)

Nationally renowned experts on parish leadership will present a workshop in October at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora on the implementation of the rites of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults in parishes.  

Nick Wagner and Diana Macalintal, co-founders of TeamRCIA.com, will be in the diocese from 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 23, until Saturday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m., to present the hands-on workshop.

Wagner, director and founder of TeamRCIA, brings more than 25 years experience in ministry and has written books on parish ministry. Macalintal is director of Worship for the Diocese of San José, Calif., and a published author with more than than 20 years experience in music and liturgical ministry.

"TeamRCIA has filled the void in formation for catechumenal ministry in the absence of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate," said Paula Penepent, coordinator for the diocesan Office for the Catechumenate.

The cost for attending the workshop includes meals. Overnight accommodations will be available at Christ the King Seminary. The workshop is open to members of the public and will be held in the seminary's main dining hall, which will allow people to move around and interact. Although people may attend either Friday or Saturday, it is recommended for participants to attend both days.
According to Penepent, TeamRCIA began as an online presence for the catechumenate via its website, TeamRCIA.com. However, once North American Forum dissolved, TeamRCIA began to look at other ways they could continue formation in the Rite, aside from the online presence they already had. In 2013, Penepent attended a workshop in Michigan, where she was very impressed by what she experienced.

"It was a five-day intensive workshop, in which people involved with the implementation of the catechumenate across the United States and Canada gathered. As an outcome of that conference, the conversation with TeamRCIA continued," Penepent said. "As a result, they started the series of institutes that they're offering. Last year, I went to their two-day institute in Clarion, Pa., on the core principles of the catechumenate."

At that institute, Penepent invited  Wagner and Macalintal to the Diocese of Buffalo. Penepent said the workshop includes their unique, interactive methodology of forming parish leaders.

"They're going to be challenged, and they're going to leave with practical ideas they can bring back to their parishes," Penepent said.

Wagner and Macalintal design their institutes with the principle that the parish is the catechumenate team. Thus, attendees leave with a better understanding of the assembly's role in the Rite. Penepent hopes to encourage not only catechumenate coordinators and teams, but also all parish leaders including priests, deacons and seminarians, to attend this workshop.

"TeamRCIA is available for any kind of a question regarding the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults," Penepent said. "If the information you need cannot be found on their website, email them. These are not new people on the block. Both of them were members of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate."

TeamRCIA also includes Rita Burns Senseman, a published author who serves as a parish director of religious education and is an expert on introducing children to the faith. Rita Ferrone, a published author and speaker, is also a part of TeamRCIA.

For more information call the Office of the Catechumenate at 716-847-8760 or visit www.teamRCIA.com.  

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